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Lankan apparel sector links up with 9 top global retailers
Dec '15
Sri Lanka's apparel sector has pulled off a coup of sorts. Backed by the country's apex exports facilitator Export Development Board (EDB), Lankan apparel grasped a virgin market and a clutch of premium global buyers of three other new markets late November, according to newspapers in the island nation.

The EDB's three-year long quest to team up with nine top global retailers finally paid off when a high powered multinational buyer team finally linked with the EDB representatives and Lankan apparel giants on November 27 in Colombo.

The visiting international buyer team, flown in by EDB, consisted of representatives from top fashion retailers of Brazil, Australia, India and Denmark. "EDB's years of efforts to get new markets such as you, the top international retail representatives, to visit Sri Lanka has worked and we thank you for meeting here" said Chairperson and CEO of EDB, Indira Malwatte.

"This is the first time we meet such a group of top, new major buyers in Sri Lanka in one go. Our apparel sector now supplies to well-known labels including Calvin Klein, Gap, Marks & Spencer, and Victoria's Secret, and we are pleased to introduce you to our apparel industry this morning," she added.

Impressed the high quality of Lankan apparel produce, the multinational buyers' delegation promptly embarked on EDB facilitated factory visits of Lankan manufacturers on the same day. The buyers also took part in Sri Lanka Design Festival event in Colombo.

The EDB estimates that Brazil's apparel import market to be worth $2.5 billion, Australia $6 billion, and Denmark $5 billion.

A spokesman from leading Sri Lankan apparel maker Hirdaramani Group said, "After talks, Zara has entered Sri Lanka and now we started work with them for their requirements." Zara is the world's largest textile retailer.

“We at Auluaulu work with global brands and we usually specialize in niche apparels from Sri Lanka -swim, beach, active wear and lingerie. Among our clients are such labels as Jane Lamerton, Myer and WaterSun” said Lankan born Australian Nirosha Fonseka, Director of Marketing, Auluaulu International of Australia.

"Casas Pernambucanas is one of the pioneering retailers in Brazil market having started almost a century ago" said Hamilton Chen, the company's Production Manager. "In fact, we are ready once the price ranges of supplies match our requirements," he added.

Apparels are Sri Lanka's topmost merchandise exports and in 2014 it earned $ 4.9 billion (9.2 per cent more than 2013). Last week, Sri Lanka's apparel industry set an ambitious new export target of $10 billion by 2025. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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